Maca is a plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes mountains. It has been cultivated as a vegetable crop in Peru for at least 3000 years. Maca is a relative of the radish and has an odor similar to butterscotch. Its root is used to make medicine.
Maca is used for “tired blood” (anemia); chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); and enhancing energy, stamina, athletic performance, memory, and fertility. Women use maca for female hormone imbalance, menstrual problems, and symptoms of menopause. Maca is also used for weak bones (osteoporosis), depression, stomach cancer, leukemia, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, erectile dysfunction (ED), to arouse sexual desire, and to boost the immune system.
In foods, maca is eaten baked or roasted, prepared as a soup, and used for making a fermented drink called maca chicha.
In agriculture, it is used to increase fertility in livestock.
-Maca is a nutritionally dense super-food that contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and all of the essential amino acids.
-Maca root is rich in B-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins, and maca is a vegetarian source of B-12. To boot, maca has high levels of bioavailable calcium and magnesium and is great for remineralization.
-Maca root helps balance our hormones and due to an over abundance of environmental estrogens, most people's hormones are a bit out of whack.
-Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the "master glands" of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands. Instead of providing hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to different bodies' needs individually. If you're producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. -However, if you're producing too little, it'll regulate the production upward. nstead of providing hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to different bodies' needs individually. If you're producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. However, if you're producing too little, it'll regulate the production upward. Hormones regulate many things including mood, growth, sexual development, and tissue function. Hormones also play a role in many diseases, like cancer and depression. Maca root has been shown to be beneficial for all sorts of hormonal problems including PMS, menopause, and hot flashes.
-Maca's also a fertility enhancer and is best known for improving libido and sexual function, especially in men. For this reason, it's earned the nickname "nature's Viagra."
-Maca has a light, nutty flavor and some easy, delicious ways to consume maca powder as a food are to: Stir a teaspoon of maca in a bowl of vegetable and lentil soup before serving; sea salt and maca root are a wonderful soup flavoring. Add a teaspoon to any herbal tea. Pour maca powder over organic, non-microwaved popcorn and flavor with coconut oil and sea salt. If you're not watching your sugar intake, mix a bit of maca powder with enough grade B maple syrup or honey to produce a wet paste, and enjoy with a spoon. It's a delicious dessert-like treat, and it's great on bananas too. If you're one who "needs" a sweet fix, this is delicious and healthy way to do it.
It's recommended to start with a 1/2 teaspoon a day, and work up to a teaspoon or two a day over the course of a few weeks. If you're taking it daily, it's best to take a day off each week.
Maca is a food staple in Peru and there are no known effects of toxicity. However, occasionally some people experience adverse effects when they start taking maca, and these symptoms may actually be detoxification symptoms. This is because when a body more accustomed to consuming processed and cooked foods starts taking in such a nutritionally dense supplement, the body will absorb the superior nutrients it needs and "throw off" the old junk it doesn't need for elimination. If this happens, you might feel badly but it generally lasts just a few days. You may also want to consider doing colon and liver cleansing before or while taking maca to quickly remove some of the waste your body is trying to eliminate. Doing so will help with many adverse symptoms.
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